By Louis Joseph, M.D. & Denise Joseph, J.D. 
Open Sea Institute for Psychiatry, Wellness & Executive Performance Coaching

June 1st, 2023

Time and again, people come to us seeking change in their lives. They seek to be a better boss or employee, a better leader, more efficient, or a better father, mother, and friend. The seeking impulse is a good thing. It requires an internal sense that one is not perfect and most often, implies a willingness to learn, adapt, and psychologically grow. Drinking behavior can sometimes serve as an indicator to oneself and others that something has gone awry, prompting one to seek change.  Some of our clients are aware that they drink too much at parties. Others are aware that they rely on alcohol to relax at the end of the day and would like to free themselves of this dependence. 

Historically, in the finance industry, falling into alcohol or substance dependent behavioral patterns has been an occupational hazard. Unfortunately, due to social pressures and the underlying belief system and structure of the addiction treatment industry, there are needlessly great hurdles to overcome for a person seeking healing and lasting change related to alcohol and substance use. On a group level, the prevailing social belief system about addictive disorders has created a stagnancy for professionals adopting newer, truly effective interventions that have proven nimble and agile ameliorators of addictive behaviors.

The dominant prescription for a person suffering from an addiction or strong predilection to consume a particular substance has remained archaic and entrenched in outdated dogma. When a person has high blood pressure, they are usually informed by their physician while at their appointment. The physician prescribes a course of lifestyle change and medication and then the person is on their way to a life with lower blood pressure.

When one presents with an addiction, however, the plot twists. There is a different narrative. One often needs what is termed an “intervention,” where, in the most dramatic way possible, one’s family and friends gather, often without the afflicted person knowing a priori, to inform them that they have a problem and then proceed to pressure them into addiction treatment.  After this uncomfortable and often devastatingly awkward event, the person is coerced into setting a “Quit Date” where they vow to forever refrain from using the substance they are addicted to despite having privately resolved to do so unsuccessfully many times before. They then enter a lengthy, costly, and needlessly life-disrupting substance treatment program. Substance treatment programs are often located far from their home and are artificial environments that isolate them from their normal life. They spend time intervals ranging from a few weeks to a year at substance treatment centers, only to return to their previous lives to continue with an average of several hours per week day-hospital therapies and doctors’ appointments. Between appointments, they take exotic vitamins and supplements, read text books, and attend countless hours of group therapy.  

This practice is reminiscent of the Sanatorium Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries when the proverbial kitchen sink of useful, less useful, and frankly harmful, unresearched, and unsubstantiated treatments were utilized to treat a presenting illness. This phenomenon is a reoccurring sociological theme in medicine. Take COVID-19 for instance. When it first afflicted the world, initial cases were housed away within hospital isolation rooms, under the lock and key of the government. Many treatments were attempted. Some ultimately proved helpful, others not so much. However, the key distinction between the COVID narrative and the narrative of the addiction treatment industry is that in addictions, the practice of trying everything, from reasonable to extravagant, along with prolonged quarantine-esque removal from one’s day to day environment, has crystallized itself as a tradition and dogma. The modern addiction industry is an industry that has formed around a dogma that has a perverse financial incentive to sustain itself. To compound things further, the philosophy of 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, can inadvertently perpetuate this dogma by their sheer inherent ceremonial, and frankly, religious natures. We do not say that 12 Step Programs do not help millions of people worldwide. They do. Instead, we say that elements of the belief systems of 12 Step ideologies persist contrary to technological advancements for the treatment of the very illnesses they profess to administer. This should not be the case.

Technology enables advancements that can revolutionize all facets of life including the medical treatment of various maladies. Addictions are no exception. There are forms of treatment available for alcohol addiction whose efficacy genuinely exceeds 80% with sustained therapeutic effects. These success rates far surpass the rates found within the traditional treatment universe. Open Sea Institute offers clients these forms of advanced treatments for addictions. 

One thing we can confidently say about individuals with addiction disorders is, that at some point, most recognize that their addictions are problematic. Where denial often comes into play is when the addicted person is confronted with the reality that they cannot stop using or thinking about a substance, that they have essentially lost control and believe there is no way to regain control.  Having an addiction to a substance is inconveniently unhealthy at best and life-taking at worst. People with addictions realize this at various levels and do not find it fun. Addictions can be concurrently humiliating and terrifying.  We understand and we can offer you hope. There is a means to overcome alcohol addiction or dial back one’s use of alcohol before it develops into a full-scale addiction.

Open Sea Institute can help you regain control of yourself by liberating you from substance dependence, misuse, abuse and addiction. One of the greatest disadvantages clients at rehab and detox facilities face is that clients are, in best-case scenarios, learning to control consumption in highly artificial environments that bear absolutely no resemblance to the reality of their lives. Attendance at these programs invites the stigma and challenge of having to very publicly excuse oneself from one’s responsibilities for a time. Inpatient experiences invite the stigmas of irresponsibility, isolation, and incompetence. People seeking help regularly lose occupational and social positions as a result of attendance, forcing them to choose between bad and worse. Even more importantly, inpatient environments are void of the difficulties, disappointments and powerful stimuli that motivate people to overindulge and dysregulate in the first place. OSI offers relief, in the proprietary form of an interplay of pharmacology and coaching, that is completely mindful and adaptive to life lived in real time and is far less expensive, financially and socially.

A common saying in Alcoholics Anonymous is, “There is no magic pill.”

OSI would say the following:

“There is no magic pill, but there are some treatments, including pills, that can help significantly with much better success rates than traditional treatments.”

We realize it does not have the same ring, but it is accurate.

Please reach out to us if you are struggling and ready to seek assistance.